I recently read an article on polyphasic sleep and I'm quite interested in experimenting with it. The article advises the Uberman approach which advocates 20-30 minute naps every four hours, meaning that you sleep about 2-3 hours per 24 hour period. I'm also interested in trying the Dymaxion approach which advocates 30 minute naps every 6 hours. The interesting thing is that eventually, you reach the point at which you get a full REM cycle every time you take a nap. It seems that from mouths of the people who do this and establish polyphasic sleep patterns, they have more energy and higher alertness.
The first and foremost question is whether one is allowed to do this out of the possibility of self-harm. For this and for the other questions, I'll be consulting my Rav.
Next comes the halachic aspects of berachos and the like. Since I'll only be sleeping 20 to 30 minutes each time, here's where the questions come in.
- If I'm only sleeping for 20 to 30 minutes, do I wash my hands when I wake?
- I remember there being something about the minimum length of sleep required in order to wash, and I'm not really sure what that minimum is.
- When it comes to only sleeping for two or three (depending on sleep schedule) short periods in the night, when should I make my birchos hashachar and birchos hatorah?
- I'll probably be studying Torah and doing other Torah-related things during the night, possibly before and possibly after chatzos. Let's give an example of this for clarity:
- Do I just say Krias Shema Al Hamita only the first time I go to bed during the night?
Nap Start Time | Nap End Time -----------------|--------------- | 7:40pm | 8:00pm | | 11:40pm | 12:00am | | 3:40am | 4:00am | | 7:40am | 8:00am |
Zman Name | Zman Time ----------------|---------------- | Nightfall | 8:00pm | | Midnight | 12:00am | | Dawn (Alos) | 4:00am |
Of course, the contrived example above is overly simplified and isn't necessarily real, but it should help to serve as an example. Can one give an answer on my three questions above given the above example? I'd like to be able to try this, but I need to be clear on what the halacha is so that in my sleeplessness, I don't transgress.